There’s a significant increase in reported gonorrhea cases in Winnebago County, according to the county’s health department.
The number of reported gonorrhea cases in the first half of this year increased by 50 percent from the number of cases reported in the first half of 2015. Todd Kisner, who is with the Winnebago County Health Department, says that’s a difference of more than 100 cases.
“It’s something that we see traditionally in our community, but there has been quite such a jump in gonorrhea, so we’re really wanting to get the word out to our community that this is present in a much more greater quantity than what we traditionally see,” Kisner said.
More than 200 cases were reported from January through June in 2015, and more than 300 were reported during those same months this year.
Kisner says the increase is concerning. The Centers for Disease Control has reported gonorrhea may be becoming resistant to current therapy, since treatment is becoming less effective.
“So as that is kind of alarming, the best way to approach that is we want to make sure that everyone that is diagnosed with gonorrhea is treated properly the first time and that we don’t incur re-infection among partners,” Kisner said.
Kisner says most of those reported cases were from adults younger than 30, and more than half of them were women. He says the increase is probably due to more awareness in the community.
Kisner says the most effective ways to prevent gonorrhea are to use condoms correctly and to practice abstinence.